By: Serge Guenette

Before Summer Ends


Summer is almost over and our regular fall routines will soon take over — for some, like those in the French school board, that starts next week!

So, before the fall routines kick in and you’re out of time, why not fit in a few more of those fun summer things while you still can? Here are 5.

  1. #1. Beach time

    Ottawa is blessed with many great spots to swim and soak up the sun. While the warm weather is still here, take advantage and head to the beach. The city’s beaches usually have facilities such as washrooms, picnic tables and shade and you can check on water quality before you go. Ditto for the NCC-run beaches on the Quebec side. You can check on them here. And if you need more of a diversion than a beach, there’s always Calypso Waterpark , which has a ton of slides, games, a wave pool and two lazy rivers to float down.

  2. #2. Catch Alegria

    Haven’t seen this yet? Time’s almost up! This revival of Cirque du Soleil’s famous 25-year-old show finishes Sept. 1. It’s being held at the Zibi site by the Chaudiere Falls. The Cirque troupe combines fantastic acrobatics, stunning theatrics and impressive visual design. Don’t miss it!

  3. #3. Up, up and away

    Another event not to miss is the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival, particularly if you’ve never experienced a hot air balloon ride. It’s a definite must! The festival runs Labour Day weekend with everything from shows, flights, fireworks, classic cars, an amusement park, a craft market and more.

  4. #4. Can you spell Ottawa?

    The big OTTAWA sign in the ByWard Market, which was installed for Canada’s 150th birthday, will soon come down. The plywood sign wasn’t meant to hold up to our winters and is showing its age. But before that happens, it has been given a makeover by students from the Ottawa School of Art, who painted the letters with unique patterns. Ultimately, the sign will be replaced by a more permanent one, but it makes a fun tourist-y keepsake to head down and take your picture with the old one while it’s still there.

  5. #5. Ride the rapids

    Now that the river has calmed down from all the spring flooding, why not spend the day cruising the rapids. Ottawa City Rafting provides a trip for all levels of adventurers that starts at Britannia Park and finishes downtown, near the Canadian War Museum.